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Martins Bank 1928+

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When Martins Bank establishes this ultra-modern branch in Peterborough’s Broadway shopping area, we are still around eight years away from the folly of April Fool’s Day 1974, when England’s County Boundaries will change, resulting in the “relocation” of many towns, Peterborough amongst them. So in 1966 we are still firmly in Northamptonshire, and Martins Bank has a distinct air of optimism ahead of its own demise, as it opens more and more up to date offices all over England.  In a modern take on the “corner aspect” favoured by Banks everywhere, Peterborough fits in nicely amongst the brave new world of 1960s concrete brick and glass.  We are even treated to a colour image of the interior by Martins Bank Magazine, who visit the Branch not long after it was opened for the first time…

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Peterborough

        - in a triangle

                - without squares

firmly established within a fortnight of opening, the business at Peterborough branch should thrive despite squeezes and freezes.

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Image © Barclays Ref 0030/2264

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Most certainly Mr C. M. Tenneson will pull out all the stops when the present economic 'stop' turns to 'go'. He it was who, as manager of Spalding branch, reconnoitred Peterborough which as long ago as January 1964 appeared in a Head Office circular as the potential home of a new branch. The site in Broadway is obviously right, for the city must extend northwards. If at present the immediate surroundings comprise gay fronts to shops which look uncertain about the duration of their tenancies this will be cleared up in the future: the cattle market, lying directly behind these shops, is also part of a redevelop­ment plan and the enormous car park will likewise lose some ground.

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Image © Martins Bank Archive Collection

Image © Barclays Ref 30-2264

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The architects have made a first-class job of what might have been an unpromising situation and, once inside the office, one is hardly aware of its triangular shape. It has a counter of teak partly fronted with gray altrazite stone, a material used also for the flooring. Ash has been combined with teak throughout and is complemented in the manager's room by a blue-patterned carpet and deep gold curtains. The working part of the branch, the staff rooms and basement have had nothing skimped and the entrance of anodised aluminium and armour-plated glass is attractive and ingenious, but we have one criticism which applies to some other new offices besides Peterborough. Who in somebody's art and design department is under the impression that the Martins staff consists of seven-footers?    This is about the height one needs to be to reach comfortably the bolts on Peterborough's doors and the upper keyholes on some of the stainless steel door frames we have seen recently: the lower keyholes are accessible enough to people of any height and to mud from the pavements. We remember a rather diminutive young lady at one branch who, asked how she gained entry if she were the first to arrive, replied that she borrowed a bucket from the workmen on the adjoining site and stood on it to reach the top keyhole. When the kindly workmen finished their task did the District Office have to send a tall girl to replace her? Great height may have its advantages but surely those of small stature should not be made to feel conscious of it by having to gallop round carrying an office chair to enable them to admit a grinning customer or, worse still, the visiting inspectors.  At Peterborough the staff would welcome a whisker pole from some dinghy enthusiast but by the time this appears in print they will probably have one.

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Images © Barclays Ref 30-2264

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Of the Borough itself the most important feature so far as the Bank is concerned is the intention to double the present population of 65,000 in the next 15 years by London overspill and the establishment of new industries.

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At present Peterborough is principally concerned with bricks, engineering, sugar beet and, to a lesser extent, agriculture, for it was only with the coming of the London and Birmingham and the Great Northern Railways in the middle of the last century that the village grew to become a borough. It is saved from being just another town by the imposing cathedral, originally a monastry in 655 A.D. and, despite a sad record of Danish vandalism, now standing in the centre of a town which was once the primitive village of Medeshamstede. Mr Tenneson and his wife and family have taken quickly to their new surroundings.

 

Mr Malcolm Sly, who was moving house on the day of our visit, will be remembered as the euphonium player in our last winter's issue, and so far as we know his only regret about his transfer is that here there is no town band. Having scolded someone for their siting of bolts and keyholes, we can certainly congratulate Midland District Office for their selection of the staff for Peterborough. Those on the staffing side rarely receive bouquets but here, as at many other branches, we quickly took a liking to the qualities and the personalities of the staff, and we are very glad to say so. The management of every new branch faces its own particular problems, and can make better and faster progress with the enthusiastic and willing support of the junior end. That support was very evident at Peterborough.

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1966 Mr Malcolm L Sly MBM-Wi65P33.jpg

1966 Mr CM Tenneson Manager MBM-Wi66P03.jpg

1966 Miss P M Hankins MBM-Wi66P3.jpg

1966 Mr S Lincoln MBM-Wi66P3.jpg

1966 Miss J A Wright MBM-Wi66P3.jpg

BW Logo

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Mr Malcolm Sly

On the Staff

1966

Mr C M Tenneson

Manager

1966 onwards

Miss P M Hankins

On the Staff

1966

Mr S Lincoln

On the Staff

1966

Miss J A Wright

On the Staff

1966

 

 

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Title:

Type:

Address:

Index No and District:

Opening Hours:

 

Telephone:

Services:

Manager:

11-79-60 Peterborough

Main Branch

13 Broadway Peterborough Northamptonshire

590 Midland

Mon to Fri 1000-1500

Saturday 0900-1130

Peterborough 66951

Nightsafe Installed

Mr C M Tenneson Manager

1966

15 December 1969

16 May 1986

Currently

opened by Martins Bank Limited

Barclays Bank Limited 20-67-35 Peterborough 13 Broadway

Closed

Bar / Restaurant

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